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"Lost World" -- errata (SPOILERS)
The pterosaur landing did not look right: The creature depicted
appeared to be vulture-sized, or better, yet it momentarily hovered on
approaching its perch, like a much smaller bird. The birds of that
size that I have seen land usually make a rather carefully planned and
artfully flown maneuver, culminating in a full-stall touchdown. I
might have expected the animal to approach its intended perch from
slightly below, at a little above low-flight speed, and zoom slightly
to a full stall as its feet touched down. (Yet if I am wrong about
how big it was, the behavior is plausible.)
The scene where one _Velociraptor_carvemuppus_ fell on top of
another, and the distraction started a fight between them, did not
look entirely reasonable. These animals were presented as social
creatures who were members of the same pack. Social carnivores that
we know about are pretty good at resolving conflict without hurting
each other. It might have been more fun to see a simple threat
display, followed by submission, and then back to the serious business
of munching mammals.
Hey, what killed the crew of the Ingen _Venture_? How'd the
_T._rex_ get into that bridge without tearing it apart? Were there
other dinosaurs on that ship? Raptors in suburbia? Way cool! Bring
on the police. Bring in the Marines. I want to watch...
And, speaking of the Ingen _Venture_, how did it survive a flank
speed collision with the pier and remain in condition to ferry the
_T._rex_ back to the island? (That it made it to the pier with the
crew disassembled is actually plausible: Modern ships have autopilots,
just like aircraft, and positional accuracy of the navigation systems
is down at the level of a few tens of meters. All that is required
for the ship to have found its way home is that dinner not have been
served until the route was keyed in.)
Stuff I liked:
Behavior! The family behavior depicted made the movie, for it got
the audience rooting for the dinosaurs, just about from square one. I
was particularly charmed by the baby _T._rex_ repeatedly looking at
its parent for encouragement in dealing with its first live prey.
The "land sharks" scene, especially the aerial view.
The "stuck to my foot" scene.
Assorted messy devourings.
Thoughts for another sequel:
I still want to see the plot line where a typically professionally
dedicated field ethologist goes in and gets accepted by the
_Velociraptor_ pack. That leads to the wonderful reprise and reversal
on the ending of the first movie, in which raptors rescue humans from
a _T._rex_'s _antipasto_. But Steve never returns my calls... :-)
-- Jay Freeman